seeking some advice regarding a purchase

Started Sep 23, 2012 | Discussions
Unexpresivecanvas Senior Member • Posts: 1,158
Re: do NOT buy a DSLR!

If you think $1,200 is too much for a system, then consider a K-01, with three lenses: DAL 35MM F2.4, DAL 50MM F2.8 and maybe an used 2X Teleconverter. You will be more than happy and your budget at the current prices will be around $1000. Or the k-01+42mmXS and the 18-55mm kit lens.

The K-01 has the same sensor as the K-5 and shares some of the functionality in a smaller package. The important thing is you get an interchangeable lens system. But K-01 is not WR. Your wife will laugh at you thinking you bought a Tonka toy if you get the yellow one:)

awaldram
awaldram Forum Pro • Posts: 13,258
Re: again: please do read my post ;-)

dpnaiba wrote:

The first 2 sets of pics make the D7000 a clear winner over the Panasonic. Sure for pure sharpness maybe there's no difference.

You are kidding me right?

The panny shows lack of contrast the grass was never that insipid , if you look at the 712 on the mail box noise correction has destroyed not only colour but resolution.

Even at these web sizes the Panny is soundly outclassed even in broad daylight @iso100

Are you being fooled by the increase DoF from the Panny because to me the image form the Panny are so so quality.

The image from the bigger sensor show considerably more micro contrast and natural colours.

For what I would try to do with a pic - selective DOF - the Panasonic doesn't seem to allow you to do so in those conditions.

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fakuryu
fakuryu Senior Member • Posts: 1,344
Re: again: please do read my post ;-)

antoineb wrote:

Let me repeat. I said that the DSLR suffered from various problems:

  • big and bulky and heavy - thus misses out on a large number of photo opportunities because it stays home

  • AF precision issues imposing the need to fine-tune (there is CDAF but it is very slow)

  • cannot film with auto-focus. Oh, and records only low-quality mono sound when my iPhone can film with AF and record stereo sound, and so can my superzooms

You summarize this as "you discovered it's not a camcorder" - come ON

Again like I already said, I do use my DSLR:

  • mostly in locations either where I already am (at home), or that I get to by car so I don't have to worry about bulk and weight

  • for portraits especially when coupled to the great 85mm f1.4 which cost me more than the body so it had better do something special

  • for low-light photography - not that I do much of this at all, but there will be the occasional large indoor family dinner where it is nice to be able to do w/o flash

  • I COULD use it to photograph action - but I find that filming action is much better

The OP sounds like he hasn't taken his decision yet, and from his aims I simply think that he will be much better served by a superzoom. Or at the very limit, a mirrorless camera.

Finally I said I had some experience, and this D7k has nearly 26'000 shots on the meter after 22 months of ownership - nearly matching the number of shots per year on my compacts or my iPhone but that's mostly because of regular portrait sessions with the kids where I will take several dozen shots of each child.

The D7k is a nice toy but it suffers from various severe limitations because of the obsolete concept, is all.

I personally will never buy another DSLR, and that's me with a tendency to photograph a lot, and the means to buy a D7k and an 18-200 and an 85 f1.4 etc.

I want something smaller, lighter, with faster AF, and more precise AF. And if sometimes I want to film, I want films with AF and stereo sound because this is 2012 not 1970.

I do agree with what you posted because you valid points especially the D7k + 85mm argument, its bulky and definetly heavy.

May I ask, have you tried the K30? It is just a bit bigger than my K-r but is lighter. Then add the beautiful DA40 limited there and you have a potent walk about setup there, but you do lose the WR. Or a K30 w/ a DA70, now that is a nice setup but expensive. Or a K30 w/ a DA35 f2.4, now that is something very light, sharp, precise, versatile and inexpensive but again, loses the WR function.

But for photographic purposes, I want a good camera to take that shot. If I want to take decent video for casual purposes, any DSLR with w/ a decent video function would do.

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It's not about the tool, its how you use it

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fakuryu
fakuryu Senior Member • Posts: 1,344
Re: seeking some advice regarding a purchase

Blackburn11 wrote:

I have been wanting to buy a dslr for about 4 years (hard to budget money when buying a house, daycare costs, etc). I will take family pics (4 year old daughter) of camping, zoo, kid sports, indoor family events. Will take occasional video also.

I have a budget of about $1200 and will have a hard time finding more funds for future lenses (and prob will never be able to get a lens over $700ish).

I am thinking the k-30 is the best bang for the buck in this range (though I think nikon will release something the minute I buy!). I love the IQ at higher ISO, the weather sealing, and the large viewfinder.

I am looking for advice on two things. First, I am hoping to get some nice comments about people happy with pentax and that think it is a good system to buy into. There are lots of posts here shooting down pentax and people thinking about changing systems. I dont know if that is just for higher price point cameras or what, but I need some confidence that this system is a good investment (I have considered m4/3 systems as well as canon and nikon systems).

Second, I was considering the 18-135 weather sealed lens and k-30 for $1100 (and a 70-300mm lens in the future). I was also thinking about the 18-55 lens and a 50-200 lens for $930 (and perhaps a Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 in the near future).

My wife has the patience of a mosquito and I am worried about having to change lenses. I want this purchase to yield some very sharp images for viewing on a very large monitor and hopefully for some large prints also.

So, any recommendations or advice would be appreciated. I am undecided about everything, so all advice is welcome.

From what you posted, it seemed like that the K30 + 17-50 f2.8 is the go to setup especially with the excellent low light performance of the K30 (ISO 1600 is clean and ISO 3200 is stil very much usable!).

If WR is what you really are looking for, it seems like the 18-55 WR the best choice and add a Samyang 85mm f1.8 there. The IQ of the K30 w/ the focus peaking w/ the sharpness and color rendition of the Samyang could be one of the best setups out there.

Or if you want versatility, portability and lightness, the DA 35 f2.4 or the DA 40 f2.8 Limited is the way to go. You might not believe how light that setup is.

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TroelsMeister Regular Member • Posts: 318
I definitely thought the 18-55 was limiting so I bought

Hi there.

I was contantly stuck at 55mm for portraits of the family sooo...

I got a used sigma 17-70mm. Its a faster lens than the 18-55 and much sharper. It was a total steal at 200USD.

If its raining I still use the 18-55WR though.

I guess it depends a lot on what you shoot and how.
--

Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people.

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Donald B
Donald B Forum Pro • Posts: 12,005
Re: again: please do read my post ;-)

interesting little test though. we had some fun, their was a spider web under the green letter box 100m away a single strand and both could resolve it . but you are right the contrast was exceptional on the d7000 its a shame i threw away the originals i would have posted the spider web. not bad for a $400 camera compared to a $10,000 rig.

my mate did buy the fz150 after the test and half the bird club and are loveing their new toys. with excelent results. he hasnt used his nikon he said since the fz arrived.
since then we have finely tuned these fz's and edged even closer.

cheers don

awaldram
awaldram Forum Pro • Posts: 13,258
Re: again: please do read my post ;-)

Donald B wrote:

interesting little test though. we had some fun, their was a spider web under the green letter box 100m away a single strand and both could resolve it . but you are right the contrast was exceptional on the d7000 its a shame i threw away the originals i would have posted the spider web. not bad for a $400 camera compared to a $10,000 rig.

my mate did buy the fz150 after the test and half the bird club and are loveing their new toys. with excelent results. he hasnt used his nikon he said since the fz arrived.
since then we have finely tuned these fz's and edged even closer.

It just like HiFi the law of diminishing returns is in full force

a £100 camera is not 10 time worse (barely 2x) than a £1000 and again £10,000 doesn't get you much improvement at all.

For a purchaser the same truth holds, Don't spend where you personally see little or no improvement.

cheers don

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brettmeikle
brettmeikle Veteran Member • Posts: 3,854
ah, Lake Mountain...

..after the fires. great rendering in the landscape.
--
Brett Meikle

http://brettmeiklephoto.smugmug.com/

Donald B
Donald B Forum Pro • Posts: 12,005
Re: again: please do read my post ;-)

also we noted that the files on the nikon have a lot more leeway for manipulation, with the fz you have to get it right everything spot on.

cheers don

OP Blackburn11 Regular Member • Posts: 100
Re: seeking some advice regarding a purchase

I really just thought a WR lens would be nice for times when weather wasnt nice. I dont think I would need that often.

Where can you get the Samyang 85mm f1.8? I see a f1.4 on BHphoto for 300 bucks. Is that the same?

Thanks for input.

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Scott Blackburn

fakuryu
fakuryu Senior Member • Posts: 1,344
Re: seeking some advice regarding a purchase

Sorry for the typo, yep its the 1.4

Blackburn11 wrote:

I really just thought a WR lens would be nice for times when weather wasnt nice. I dont think I would need that often.

Where can you get the Samyang 85mm f1.8? I see a f1.4 on BHphoto for 300 bucks. Is that the same?

Thanks for input.

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Gerry Winterbourne Forum Pro • Posts: 15,406
Re: again: please do read my post ;-)

Blackburn11 wrote:

Let me ask this. If I look at a 100% crop of a raw image taken with a k-30 w/18-135 lens at 135mm (at say 400 iso) and a 100% crop of a raw image taken at an equivalent focal length at 400 iso with the fz200, am I going to notice a significant difference? In sharpness, resolution, dr, ... Or just overall IQ?

It depends a lot on the circumstances. Ass I said further up the thread
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1036&message=42577504

superzooms are good within their limts. Do whether you see a difference will depend on whether your shot was pushing those limits or not.

If you have lots of light but shoot at ISO400 just to see a comparison there won't be much difference in visible noise; but if the light is dim enough that you are compelled to use ISO400 the superzoom shot will either show more noise or lose detail because of NR - and as the light gets worse the difference becomes stronger.

DR: look at this shot (not for its artistic merit) and you see the water and foliage are well exposed; the sky is plain overcast but so what?

This sort of look is typical of superzooms and old DSLRs. But there was actually a lot of detail in the sky

The ability to preserve detail in both shadow areas and highlights is what distinguishes modern DSLRs. It isn't important just in this sort of shot - the world is full of high-contrast scenes that beat the DR limits of superzooms.

Incidentally, what you need to compare isn't 100% crops unless both cameras have identical pixel count. What you need is crops that show identical FOV. The FZ200 is 12MP v the K30's 16MP so you'll see different areas at 100%.

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Gerry

First camera 1953, first Pentax 1985, first DSLR 2006
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OP Blackburn11 Regular Member • Posts: 100
Re: seeking some advice regarding a purchase

Wow, I cant believe the response I got from this inquiry.

I feel very confident that this is a great system to buy into and even though (relative to canon/nikon) not many people shoot pentax, the people that do are active and very helpful.

I have gone back and forth about the system (dslr, m4/3, or superzoom). When very experienced photographers talk about going to smaller systems due to nearly comparable IQ and much lighter equipment, that should send a message.

But these are people that have experienced different lenses and different equip where I have not. If I get a fz200 I will still never know how a great prime compares to a superzoom. Or how a f1.4 does in low light compared to a kit lens. I think I want and personally need to experience all of that.

I wish lenses werent so darn expensive. I would love to try some primes out right away or a zoom with constant 2.8 aperture, but I just dont have funds to try it all and dont know what focal lengths I will use the most.

I am going to get the k-30 with 18-135 wr. I think for a first lens it will tell me what focal lengths I use most, will give me the weather seal (which I may not use, but will be nice to have). Then after a few months (or a year if I cant raise the funds) then I will try an appropriate prime or (less likely) telephoto.

Just stinks getting 1 lens when there are so many beautiful options out there. But, what is the hurry I guess!

Thank you all... your comments were very helpful.

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Scott Blackburn

OP Blackburn11 Regular Member • Posts: 100
Re: again: please do read my post ;-)

Thank you. That is an excellent explanation that even I can understand!

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Scott Blackburn

Jim in Hudson Senior Member • Posts: 2,299
Re: seeking some advice regarding a purchase

Blackburn11 wrote:

Wow, I cant believe the response I got from this inquiry.

I feel very confident that this is a great system to buy into and even though (relative to canon/nikon) not many people shoot pentax, the people that do are active and very helpful.

I have gone back and forth about the system (dslr, m4/3, or superzoom). When very experienced photographers talk about going to smaller systems due to nearly comparable IQ and much lighter equipment, that should send a message.

But these are people that have experienced different lenses and different equip where I have not. If I get a fz200 I will still never know how a great prime compares to a superzoom. Or how a f1.4 does in low light compared to a kit lens. I think I want and personally need to experience all of that.

I wish lenses werent so darn expensive. I would love to try some primes out right away or a zoom with constant 2.8 aperture, but I just dont have funds to try it all and dont know what focal lengths I will use the most.

I am going to get the k-30 with 18-135 wr. I think for a first lens it will tell me what focal lengths I use most, will give me the weather seal (which I may not use, but will be nice to have). Then after a few months (or a year if I cant raise the funds) then I will try an appropriate prime or (less likely) telephoto.

Just stinks getting 1 lens when there are so many beautiful options out there. But, what is the hurry I guess!

Thank you all... your comments were very helpful.

You're taking a very good path. You'll find the K-30 and 18-135 WR combo to give you great photos in likely 90%+ of all opportunities. If you're to buy one lens, it's hard to think of any better choice. I doubt you'll have any disappointment.

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dpnaiba Regular Member • Posts: 121
Re: seeking some advice regarding a purchase

When i started into DSLRs I got the K100d + 18-55 + 55-200. I think you're getting a better lens with the 18-135, which I now use on the K5.

But I also passed a local photo hobby store and felt the urge to enter and ask about "old Pentax glass" so I got out with an old Pentax SMC-A 50mm F1.7 that I had read about as being very good, for 60$ or so.

you can find a lot of them on ebay for about the same money and they're great portrait lenses in and out of the house. Also good for some other stuff that fits in the 50mm span

So you may go that route just accept that you'll have to focus manually. BTW, you'll have to do the same for the Samyang lenses.

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Insulted
Insulted Regular Member • Posts: 161
Re: seeking some advice regarding a purchase

I am in the process of building a new lens collection, just bought into pentax and leaving sony. Since my wife and I are both students with little ones I limit myself on my spending, so I try to find the best balance of quality and price. I have bought two used MF lenses, a 50 1.7 and a 4.5 80-205 w macro, along with the kit 18-135. I would still like a longer lens, 300mm or more, and some faster stuff in between but this will have to wait. I will likely buy here and there when I find good deals, and down the road a ways I will invest in limiteds.

I checked out KEH.com recently and they have some really amazing prices on lenses. You can check B&H, adorama, ebay, amazon, they all have their own selection but KEH has so far offered the best prices. Just FYI if you are looking for bargains like me.

OP Blackburn11 Regular Member • Posts: 100
Re: seeking some advice regarding a purchase

Yes, would be fun to get an old prime that is fast to play with. I saw some reasonable ones on eBay.

This may be something I have to research on my own, but will all those old lenses work on cameras today? Pentax cameras I mean (with exception of af).
--
Scott Blackburn

Russ Houston
Russ Houston Veteran Member • Posts: 6,375
good choice

Blackburn11 wrote:

Wow, I cant believe the response I got from this inquiry.

I feel very confident that this is a great system to buy into and even though (relative to canon/nikon) not many people shoot pentax, the people that do are active and very helpful.

I have gone back and forth about the system (dslr, m4/3, or superzoom). When very experienced photographers talk about going to smaller systems due to nearly comparable IQ and much lighter equipment, that should send a message.

But these are people that have experienced different lenses and different equip where I have not. If I get a fz200 I will still never know how a great prime compares to a superzoom. Or how a f1.4 does in low light compared to a kit lens. I think I want and personally need to experience all of that.

I wish lenses werent so darn expensive. I would love to try some primes out right away or a zoom with constant 2.8 aperture, but I just dont have funds to try it all and dont know what focal lengths I will use the most.

I am going to get the k-30 with 18-135 wr. I think for a first lens it will tell me what focal lengths I use most, will give me the weather seal (which I may not use, but will be nice to have). Then after a few months (or a year if I cant raise the funds) then I will try an appropriate prime or (less likely) telephoto.

Just stinks getting 1 lens when there are so many beautiful options out there. But, what is the hurry I guess!

Thank you all... your comments were very helpful.

I agree with your decision on the 18-135. I have the older 18-250 for the same reason that I don't want to make my family wait while I change lenses. The 18-135 has the added benefit of being WR.

If you want to add a fast prime, go to KEH.com and buy a 50mm f/1.7 manual lens. You can get a good one for well under $100. Just make sure it explicitly states that you'll get both the front and rear lens caps (since it's used, you may not get them). KEH is a good place to buy used lenses. Pentax Forums is another.

Oh, and I have a mirrorless camera as well and they are nice. If I was going to have just one system, though, it would be the Pentax.

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Russ Houston
Russ Houston Veteran Member • Posts: 6,375
All K-mount lenses will work

Blackburn11 wrote:

Yes, would be fun to get an old prime that is fast to play with. I saw some reasonable ones on eBay.

This may be something I have to research on my own, but will all those old lenses work on cameras today? Pentax cameras I mean (with exception of af).
--
Scott Blackburn

That's a big strength of Pentax, all K-mount lenses will work as designed (with a few metering exceptions). At worst, you'll have to tell the camera to meter the scene for you (by pressing a button). The camera will then set the appropriate shutter speed for you, depending on the mode you're in.

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